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Illustration: Mark Allen Miller

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What Hypertension Does to Your Body
The effects can go well beyond your heart.

Memory Loss
Hypertension can cause blood vessels to narrow or rupture, leading to stroke. But it can have more subtle neurological effects, too, like mild cognitive impairment, including short-term memory lapses.

Blurred Vision
High blood pressure can damage the delicate blood vessels in your eyes, resulting in vision problems.

Libido Issues
Although the link between high blood pressure and sexual dysfunction is more commonly seen in men, researchers now say that elevated BP may be the cause of increased vaginal dryness and a bottomed-out sex drive for some women.

Kidney Trouble
When high BP damages arteries and the tiny blood vessels within your kidneys, dangerous levels of waste can accumulate in your body. Over time, this could lead to kidney failure.

Brittle Bones
Healthy blood pressure helps your body excrete excess calcium. But when BP rises to unsafe levels, you may lose too much, increasing your risk for osteoporosis and broken bones.

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